JOHNSTONE TARGETED BY PREMIER LEAGUE OUTFITS
While although the Premier League season is not yet complete, now is the time in which shopping lists are compiled and although the transfer market will be somewhat depressed because of COVID, there will still be substantial sums of money exchanged in the next few months.
Money that may also be exchanged between those in the top flight and those who have just fallen through the trapdoor and although West Brom have not had their fate consigned just yet, demotion to the Championship is looking rather likely.
Which means an element of fire sale will need to take place at The Hawthorns over the summer and with Sam Allardyce stating that budgets will be integral to a prolonged stay in charge, that budget may only materialise after an element of exodus.
One of the most expensive assets that West Brom can call upon at present is Sam Johnstone and with the goalkeeper attracting the attention of several clubs, it seems to be a question of when rather than if he departs from the West Midlands.
Therefore, if we assume that Johnstone’s departure is all but given (bar an incredible great escape by the Baggies this month), it is reported that two European hopefuls are looking to acquire his services.
One of those is Tottenham and with questions being asked regarding Hugo Lloris’ future at the club, a handful of names have entered the conversation regarding a potential successor – with Johnstone now being one of them.
The 28-year-old has arguably been the brightest light in West Brom’s forgettable season and with Premier League experience behind him, he would be well versed to slot into the void that may be created in North London.
At the same time, even if Lloris was to stay on for another season and that is not outside the realm of possibility, there is a chance that the Tottenham hierarchy may consider Johnstone as his eventual heir apparent.
However, the England youth international is now at the point of his career where he does not want to be warming the bench and that is why a move to West Ham may end up being one that is more appealing.
Because with Lukasz Fabianski approaching an element of seniority, there will need to be some form of transition between the London Stadium sticks and that is why West Ham are also considering a bid for Johnstone.
If such a bid were to be greenlit by the West Ham board, it is believed that £20m would be enough to gain the interest of their West Brom counterparts and the fact that the Hammers are rather stable at present, may just give them an advantage.
Because with Tottenham being in a state of managerial flux right now, Johnstone may feel that this may not be the best club to move to and a lot will depend on just who Daniel Levy eventually appoints as successor to Jose Mourinho.
At the same time with West Ham looking likely to secure some form of European football next season, a move to East London is one that suddenly becomes more appealing and therefore, the Hammers may just be at the front of the queue right now.